Rabbits do not cope well in hot temperatures. They can suffer from heat stroke & this can be fatal. To prevent your rabbit from getting heat stroke, you need to take action to keep your rabbit as cool as possible on warm sunny days. Follow our simple & effective tips to keep your bunny cool & healthy.
##Create lots of shade
1.**Create lots of shaded areas for your rabbit within their accommodation, with good ventilation.** Create shaded areas behind items like nest boxes, or raise nest boxes & hutches so they can lay underneath them in the shade. (Make sure you raise them up off the ground safely)
2.**Patio umbrellas & sun sail shades** are a great way to provide instant shade.
3.**Car screen sunshades** are great to create some shade & help to keep rabbit homes from heating up. Buy more than one, tape them together to make one large sun screen and place on top of roofs or over sides of rabbit enclosures that catch the sun for long periods.
##Create cool flooring
1.**Concrete slabs or ceramic tiles** placed in a shaded area provides your rabbit with something cool to lay on. Ceramic tiles can be placed in a freezer for a few hours to make them even cooler. Have more than one tile in the freezer so you can alternate them through the day.
2.**Litter trays with soil in** also provide a cool place for bunnies to lie down in.
3.**Damp towels or damp cotton pillowcases** also provide cool flooring for bunnies to lay on, you can also keep these in the freezer so they are cooler for longer & alternate them. You could place a ceramic tile inside the pillow case.
##Create effective cooling blocks
1.**Frozen plastic water bottles:**
Fill old plastic pop bottles up with water and freeze. Place inside a cotton pillow case and lay on top of a ceramic tile inside your bunnies enclosure. The is a great way to keep your bunnies cool and the bigger the plastic bottle the longer it will stay frozen. They love laying against them. Have a few bottles in the freezer so you can alternate them morning and night.
You can also use lots of smaller plastic bottles and place them inside cotton socks and dot them around your bunnies enclosure.
2.**Plastic lunch boxes & containers:**
Fill with water and freeze and place in your bunnies enclosures for them to sit on or lean against.
The good thing about plastic containers is they come in all shapes and sizes, so you can use what suits your bunny & their accommodation best.
3.**Terracotta plant pot saucers:**
Place these upside down with an ice block placed underneath it & your bunny can lay on top of this to keep cool.
1.If you can provide fans for your bunnies, make sure it is in a position where your bunny can move away from it.
2.If inside their accommodation – attach small fans on walls pointing downwards to help the bunnies get the full effect and to keep the wires safely out of reach.
##Create your own air conditioning
Place a damp towel over a chair and place in front of your rabbits enclosure. Place a fan behind it. The fan blows out the moisture from the damp towel and acts as air conditioning would.
##Provide lots of water
1.Provide your bunnies with water bowls as well as bottles. If your bunny usually drinks from a bottle, you may find they will welcome drinking from a bowl also in hot weather. They can use the water to clean themselves and this will cool them down.
2.Bunnies that drink from bowls will drink more water in hot weather, so to have a bottle available also will ensure they never run out of water.
3.Place ice cubes in the water bowls to keep the water cooler for longer.
##Buy a plant water spray bottle
1.Set the spray on a mist spray and spray from a height over your bunnies. Only spray a little at a time to help keep them cool.
2.These bottles are also handy to spray items like cotton pillow cases for them to lay on.
##To instantly cool your rabbit down…
Wet a tissue with cold water. Squeeze out access water and gently wipe over your rabbits ears. This will immediately cool them down as they regulate their body temperature through their ears.
**Never leave a rabbit in direct sunlight for long periods. If you cannot move them into a shaded area or create a shaded area, bring them indoors.**
**Never cool a rabbit down by placing them into cold water – they can die from shock. Wipe a damp tissue over their ears to help cool them down**
**If you think your rabbit is suffering from the heat, wipe a damp tissue over your rabbit’s ears and back of their heads to instantly cool them down. Contact your vet asap if you are concerned.**